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Diamond Diary by Kevin Cooney

Sept. 19, 2003

A Good Day...And a Visit With an Old Friend...

Yesterday was a real good day in the Cooney house for all of us.

Maggie had a half day of school, MB finally got to the doctor and hopefully will feel better soon. Luke was in good company, as his preschool got to visit "Brogan's house". Nearly one hundred Karen Slattery kids listened to President Frank Brogan read a story at the big house. Shane McCormack said they were going to "George Washington's house"! Leave it to Mac's kid to embellish the story. President Brogan was nice enough to call up his "good friend Luke", to the front of the room and tell everyone that he knew Luke's Dad...I guarantee he'll still hate me when he's 13!

After dinner, Jeff went to class, and Jim worked on his car, so I decided to take Maggie and Luke to see the big waves caused by the passing of Isabel.

I grew up in New Jersey where you spent as much time as you could at The Shore... Don't call it the beach. My Dad drove a bus for thirty years and made very little money. But each summer we spent two weeks at the shore. His friend owned two cottages in Ocean Beach and he gave Dad a good price break. Some of my best memories are of those days spent playing miniature golf and fighting waves with my brother. Each Sunday, after Mass, we'd go to the little doughnut shop where you could look in the window and watch the doughnuts be made. I can still smell the cinnamon! But we lived for those big waves and the rush of water throwing our bodies up onto the beach.

Last night I stood knee deep and watcheded those waves knock down Luke and Maggie and carry them bobbing like coconuts in the foaming water. It scared them the first few seconds, but then that look of awe was in their eyes, and back they went into the sea.

As I stood and admired the beauty and the power of the ocean and its waves, I was reminded of a Jackson Browne song about a band going from city to city by bus. Night after night trying to pass the time on the bus and around the hotel until backstage, "the lights come up, we hear that sound, and I remember why we came." I always thought of that song in baseball terms. First as a minor leaguer riding busses through the night, now in my current position doing the same.

But, last night when "I remembered why we came" ... it was the ocean, the unrelenting force of nature that lies four miles east of campus.

One of the biggest thrills in taking this job sixteen years ago was the fact that I would never be far from the ocean. Never again would I fight traffic on the Garden State Parkway to get to the waves.

I had forgotten why I came. But the beauty of the beach last night reminded me.

Maybe that explains the hold the nickname Blue Wave has on me. Perhaps it's all those NJ days and nights at the shore being shot to shore by a force of nature beyond my control. If you've ever been caught in a big wave you know what I mean.

The waves might ebb and seem to be still...but they will rise again if you are patient. Baseball games are a lot like that. Our teams have been too.

It was a good day, capped off by a great visit to an old friend. KC



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